• ‘Deforestation-Free’ Palm Oil Not as Simple as it Sounds

    Genuinely ‘deforestation-free’ palm oil products are problematic to guarantee, according to a new study.

    Palm oil is a vegetable oil that is used in thousands of products worldwide, including an estimated 50% of all products on supermarkets shelves, from food to detergents to cosmetics.

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  • Some Like it Hot!

    Ecologists have no doubt that climate change will affect the earth's animals and plants. But how exactly? This is often hard to predict. There are already indications that some species are shifting their distribution range. But it is much less clear how individual animals and populations are responding to the changes. Scientists at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig, Germany have been studying nocturnal desert geckos to see how they are adapting to climatic changes. The researchers published their encouraging findings in the specialist journal Ecological Monographs. The rise in temperature itself won't cause the creatures any real problems in the near future. And they will be able to compensate for the negative consequences of increasing dryness, to some extent. And this might also be true for other desert reptiles.

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  • Giant Clams Tell the Story of Past Typhoons

    A highly precise method to determine past typhoon occurrences from giant clam shells has been developed, with the hope of using this method to predict future cyclone activity.

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  • The Secrets of Anticosti Island: New discovery sheds light on mass extinction

    Located in Canada’s Gulf of Saint Laurence, Anticosti Island is home to one of the world’s richest deposits of fossils and sedimentary rock, dating back some 445 million years, a time known as the end of the Ordovician period.

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  • Optimum Shade for Cocoa

    As chocolate becomes ever more popular, demand for cocoa keeps rising. For production to keep up, agricultural practices have to become more sustainable. ETH researchers tested what shade trees can contribute to solving this problem.

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  • World’s Protected Areas Being Rapidly Destroyed by Humanity

    What are we doing to protect our protected spaces?

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  • UNH Researchers Find Invasive Seaweed Makes Fish Change Their Behavior

    When it comes to finding protection and a safe feeding ground, fish rely on towering blades of seaweed, like kelp, to create a three-dimensional hiding space. Kelp forests have been shown to be one of the most productive systems in the ocean with high biodiversity and ecological function. However, in recent decades, many kelp habitats have been taken over and replaced by lower turf-dominated seaweed species. Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have found that this change in the seascape may impact the behavior of fish and could be leaving them less options for refuge and more vulnerable to predators.

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  • Following Bats to Predict Ebola

    The 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa killed more than 11,000 people and was the deadliest outbreak since the discovery of the virus in 1976.

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  • How Australia Got Planted

    A new study has uncovered when and why the native vegetation that today dominates much of Australia first expanded across the continent. The research should help researchers better predict the likely impact of climate change and rising carbon dioxide levels on such plants here and elsewhere. The dominant vegetation, so-called C4 plants, includes a wide variety of tropical, subtropical and arid-land grasses. , C4 plants also include important worldwide crops such as sugarcane, corn, sorghum and millet. The research has just been published online in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

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  • 437 million tonnes of fish, $560 billion wasted due to destructive fishing operations

    Industrial fisheries that rely on bottom trawling wasted 437 million tonnes of fish and missed out on $560 billion in revenue over the past 65 years, new UBC research has found.

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